John O. Whitney was in the Civil War, and died of diseases he got in the malarial backwaters near New Orleans, where he was a private in the 2nd Vermont Light Artillery Brigade. This is a cenotaph; John is buried in Chalmette National Cemetery, in Louisiana. He was eighteen years old when he went into the "Great Rebellion," and died within a half-year of enlisting.
His father Joshua, who memorialized his son (this is a cenotaph), entered the Civil War two years later, and was pronounced legally insane after returning to West Hill. Both Louisiana and Virginia took their toll on the tough "West-R-Boys," tough in battle but living in isolated hillside farming hamlets must have made their immune systems fragile to diseases.